UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Identity incongruence : Asian Canadian men’s experiences of addiction, stigma, and stereotypes Gray, Trevor


Despite being the largest and fastest-growing ethnic group in Canada, Asian Canadians remain the least represented in addictions data. Furthermore, in North America, there are significant disparities in addiction service usage by Asian identified individuals, who are consistently more likely to have unmet needs in this area when compared to members of other ethnic groups. Extant literature indicates that the lack of Asian representation in current addictions data does not reflect an absence of addiction challenges among this population. Rather, it speaks to social and cultural factors limiting this population's interaction with current models of addiction services and research studies. This study seeks to develop insight into the nuanced narratives of Asian Canadians with addiction experience and to provide a platform for these stories to be told. This narrative inquiry explores the experiences of three Asian Canadian men with addiction experience. Participants took part in three semi-structured conversational interviews and one journal entry designed to invoke narratives of their experiences of racial stereotypes and addiction stigma as Asian Canadian men with addiction experience. Analysis of individual participant stories and a cross-case analysis revealed common themes across participant narratives: parental expectations and generational trauma, internalization of the "model minority" stereotype and addiction stigma, identity incongruency, and narratives reflecting the impact of addiction and recovery experiences on finding voice. Implications of the study’s findings on social work practice in addictions and healthcare settings and avenues for future research in this area are discussed.

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